The men were coming.
I tried to peer at them but Trevor kept pushing me down.
I know he's my big brother and that at fourteen he is four years older than me, but even so if I wanted to look I should be able to look.
"Down, squirt," he said.
"Let me see," I grumbled.
"You're too little. Besides, you're a girl."
I snorted and pushed up until I could look through the lowest pane of the window. He was watching too. So engrossed was he that he only pushed on the top of my head. I let him think he had pushed me out of the way and squinted to see through the grimy opening.
The rain was coming down in sheets and the men on their big, powerful horses were soaked through. They looked what they were. Wild, vicious raiders from the northlands, and our small farm was their chosen prize. I didn't know where Mummy and Daddy were, but I guessed they would be in the main house ready to fight. Trevor and I had been caught in the curing house, where we had been working together, when the sudden appearance of these men had taken us by surprise.
There were at least six of them and they looked fierce and frightening in their skins and leathers with their swords and bows draped around them. I saw movement. There were more of them under the trees. Ten. I counted ten of these murderous raiders. They were milling about in our yard. Horses snorting and whinnying, armour clashing, rain pelting down. Margaret, she's one of our housemaids, broke from the cover of the milking shed and ran for her quarters. A tall fair girl, Margaret could run fast, but she hardly made ten metres before she was ridden down by the horsemen and cut to the ground with a slash from a sword. She pitched forward into the mud and I could see her blood, thick and hot, mingling with the rain and staining the ground. I gasped and Trevor grabbed me and closed off my mouth with his hand.
Arrows from the house flew amongst the horsemen and one clutched at his cheek with a horrible oath and plucked an arrow shaft from his skin, leaving the head embedded in his face. The horsemen rushed at the house and loosed a flurry of arrows, some of which passed inside. I heard screams and cries and the fierce swearing of the attackers. They fired a barn and then another and when our livestock ran forth, they slaughtered cows, pigs and sheep alike. Two more maids, girls from the village, ran forth; one was killed straight away, falling limply into a ditch. The other was grabbed by two of the raiders who stripped her clothes from her and hurled her against a tree. She was stunned and shaking but they proceded to take her as I had seen our stallion take the mares. She screamed and screamed.
Suddenly from the copse of trees toward the rise, mounted warriors, armed men in gleaming armour and carrying bright pennants, galloped into view. There were three of them and I recognised the pennant of Camulod. They fell upon our attackers from the rear and their attack was so sudden and of such a surprise that within moments their scything blades had felled five of the raiders. The two who were attacking the maid were despatched before they could remount and the remaining three galloped away.
Our saviours rode to the main house and Mummy and Daddy came out to welcome them. Trevor and I snuck out of the curing house and joined the milling group.
One of the men and Daddy carried the naked, hysterical maid into the workers hut and bedded her down. Mummy went to her aid. The warriors of Camulod and our own men carried the bodies of the dead raiders together with Margaret and the other girl into the barn where they were laid out. The warriors stayed until nightfall and ate and drank with us. I waited upon them and was thrilled to bring food and drink to these big, strong, handsome men.
At nightfall they went on their way. The fires were out and we settled down to our beds. When the night was darkest I crawled from my bed and without waking Trevor or any of the others made my way to the barn where the dead lay in rows.
I wanted to look at them, fascinated by their deaths. Margaret's body was shrouded as was the other maid. The men had been stripped and lay naked side by side. I walked along them, their pale corpses lit by the bright light of the moon. Their men things down between their legs lay limply across their thighs and I touched first one and then another, fascinated by this strange appendage. Then I came upon one man whose thing stood straight up, gently curved like a bow.
I couldn't explain it, but a strange feeling came over me as I looked at the naked, slain body of this warrior with his man thing hard and curving outward from the forest of curls at his groin. I looked around furtively, knowing what I was doing by being here was wrong. My eyes lit on the hard flat muscular planes of the dead raider's body. I reached out and ran my fingers over his chest and the rippling muscles of his tummy (Do men have tummies?). I touched his man thing. It was huge and it was cold and it was rock-like in its hardness. I leant forward and lay my cheek against it. I touched it with my lips. I felt it up and down. The village girls said that men put this thing in between a girl's legs, and my hand strayed to my own small cleft, and babies were made when that happened. If I touched this hard pillar with my slit would I make a baby? No, Mummy had told me I was too young to have babies when I had complained that my dolls were old and I wanted a baby to play with. I ran my fingers over the marbled flesh and I felt such a strange feeling. My cleft flushed hot and the heat spread through my tummy.
"Barbara! What are you doing?'
I flushed crimson and hid my face with my hands. Trevor came in in his nightshirt.
"Why are you here?" he hissed.
"Ummmnnnnn..." I sniffled.
"You're a wierd girl." He grabbed my arm and pulled me back to bed. "Now go to sleep." After a while he said, "Why were you there?"
I sniffled and mumbled, "don't know. I never saw dead people so close. I wanted to see."
"You're wierd," he said, "now go to sleep and don't ever tell Mummy or Daddy."
Five years later the raiders came again.
Daddy had had several offers for me to be married to boys from other farms or from the village, but I had pleaded to be let stay at home with my family. Most of my girl friends were already married and one or two had children as well. Daddy had told me that I was to be married that spring and although I had run to Mummy and cried copious tears she just said, "Your father knows best Barbara, and you are getting old. No-one will want you if you don't marry soon."
That day was a lovely sunny day in late winter and spring was in the air although a sprinkling of snow still covered the ground. I was down by the creek with Trevor, who had married Margaret's sister and now had two small boys. He had come to help Daddy in the curing house and I had run to meet him.
I held his hand and thought how handsome and tall my lovely brother was and how I wished I could have married him when my thoughts were rudely shattered by the sight of horsemen bursting from the trees. We were cut off from the house and I saw them raising their bows. I shrieked and then they fired and an arrow caught Trevor in the thigh and he fell into the creek. They rode at me as I ran to help him and before I could reach him I heard their horses close behind. I turned to run into the trees but they were upon me, and I felt the thunder of hooves on the ground and then I was clubbed from behind and sprawled senseless onto the ground.
I woke from unconsciousness to find myself lying across a horse's back with my hands and feet tied together. Not knowing where I was and finding myself upside down I started to wriggle and my captors must have noticed and they laughed amongst themselves. I could understand enough of their language that I knew I was being called a whore and worse and that there existed no sympathy at all amongst these rough men for my plight.
One of them untied me and pulled me to the ground. I pleaded with them to let me go but their harsh, cruel faces told me that my breath was wasted. They dismounted and I was dragged to the side of the track by the one who had pulled me from the horse. He tore my dress from me, ripping the light cotton material. Then all of them, there were seven, proceeded to take me as their predecessors had taken the maiden five years before. I had until now been a virgin and although I had discussed the act of love with Mummy, I knew little of it. I didn't have to, though, to realise that what I now suffered was not love but brutality.
They left me bruised and bleeding and in such a state of shock that I could not speak nor even think. I was put back onto the horse, but sitting upright this time and my hands were tied to the saddle and my feet were tied together under the horse's belly. We travelled for two more days and I was left to foul myself on the horse, unfed, bound and freezing cold and no garment other than my own torn dress was offered to me.
Finally we reached their encampment and I was released and their own women saw to me, cleaning my body, feeding me and letting me sleep. The following day I was bound to the horse again and the whole party set out. Now I was allowed to dismount at nights and given scraps of food. The rape, for now I know it to have been that, had driven me into a state of monosyllabic near-silence and I travelled as though asleep within my head. We travelled for many days and the weather turned colder and my lightly clad body froze and at nights the women would have to chafe my limbs to rid them of the blueness. I was in an agony of body and mind and prayed for death to claim me.
Eventually, I had no track of time, we arrived at their permanent camp in an icy forest far to the north of my home and I entered into a life of sexual servitude to whatever man wanted me. This lasted perhaps six months and then more raiders returned to their village with fresh girls and I was condemned to the mines.
Every morning, before light, I and other wretched slaves were driven into the cavernous openings in the hillsides and there in dark, dank underground caves surrounded by hellish, seemingly bottomless pits we worked all day digging and carrying the gem bearing stones until when it was fully dark, and no further work was possible, we were bought out again to eat and sleep.
I yearned for death.
Sometimes I would remember my life before and I would weep so much that my body ran out of tears. I prayed for death and determined that by my own hand would I die. One evening when they unchained us prior to returning us to the surface to eat and sleep, I dashed into the darkness, grasped up a stone and cracked it against my own forehead and felt myself pitch backward into the pit and into death's arms.
I lay in darkness.
I was surely dead. In my mind I saw my home, the farm, Trevor and his family and Mummy and Daddy. They were telling me I must marry. I was arguing and they were becoming annoyed. Daddy shouted at me, "Don't be such a selfish girl, Barbara."
Daddy never shouted at me.
This was surely hell.
I didn't believe in heaven or hell. To be dead was to cease. Why then was I thinking, dreaming. Why was I aware?
I was alive. Alive still and in the bottomless pit. Couldn't be bottomless, I realised, or what was I lying on? Rock, it felt like rock. It was cold and hard and my body felt like one enormous bruise and my wrist felt like it was broken and my head screamed with pain and with endless noises where I had brained myself. I was still wearing the old dress in which I had been captured. It had been mended time and time again and I had stolen stuff to add to it and to pad it out and line it but it was little better than rags. My feet were bound with rough shoes I had made from what cloth I could find. My captors had treated me as lower than their most menial animal. I touched my face with my good hand and felt wet, sticky blood. I tried to move my other hand and it skewered me with such lancets of pain that I broke out in cold sweats and came close to fainting. I gingerly touched my wrist and found it swollen and tender to the point of being unbearable. I tried to bend it and the wave of pain caused me to pass out cold again.
I awoke again, more a matter of becoming aware, I was thinking, than complete consciousness. Nursing my bad wrist protectively, I sat up and then stood. I thought I would fall and steadied myself instinctively using the bad hand. The pain swept up my arm and I fought to remain conscious while heaving up nothing from my famished and empty tummy.
I staggered forward, feeling ahead of me in the gloom.
In the distance I thought I saw light. I stopped and closed my eyes and shook my head and immediately regretted it as my headache pounded at my temples. I stood very still, eyes closed. Slowly I opened them and looked ahead. Yes, there could be no mistake. There in the distance was a patch of light.
Very slowly and very cautiously I made my way forward. My body ached and my lower arm felt as though it were being savaged by blades. As I made my way toward it, the patch of light grew in intensity until eventually I could see the wet, dripping walls of rock past which I was moving. When at last I emerged into the light I found myself in a huge cavern through which ran a stream as black and silent as moving ink. Where the light came from I couldn't tell. The cavern in which I found myself was vast and dotted with pillars of damp rock which grew from the floor and disappeared toward the upper roof of this enormous place.
I was exhausted and finding a spot away from the river, for such it was, I lay down determined to recoup my strength before exploring further.
I must have fallen instantly and deeply asleep as I remembered nothing more until, in my dream state, I became aware that I was moving. My eyes popped open and my mouth fell as a silent scream filled my head.
Grasping my ankle and pulling me forward with a sibilant clicking noise was the most unbelievably hideous creature. It had hands and feet that could have been human. These grew from insectile arms and legs, double jointed and shiny blue. Its head which was looking at me was huge and looked like a travesty of all humanity. The skull was bald and throbbed with pinkish blood coursing visibly through extended arteries and veins. Its eyes were recessed under an overhanging brow and glittered feverishly as it gazed at me. Its nose and mouth were like those of the pug dog whom the village girls had played with an eternity ago. But its body! Its body was the shining carapace of a gigantic beetle. I found voice and screamed and felt I would swoon once more. I knew that if I did it would be the end for me and so I fought hard to retain my senses. I kicked out and screamed again. The creature maintained its grip and a look of such malevolent hatred crossed its face that I felt it as a physical force. I kicked out again but it had me as though in a vice and it kept drawing me along. My eyes skittered around as I looked for succour and then I noticed that in the gloom between the pillars to which the monstrous thing was dragging me there was a silvery nest. No, not a nest, a huge web with the distinct shape of a funnel and inside that was a human (if one could call it that) headed spider bigger than myself.
My tummy iced up and I knew despair. I had wanted to die that was true.
But like this!
I was shrieking in the grip of hysteria.
I saw movement.
More of the beetle men were scrabbling toward me from both sides.
My brain spun out of control and I felt the chill that precedes unconsciousness.
I lay limply on my back on the rock being dragged to my death and to become the meal of some nightmare creature. I was totally helpless, arms and body dragging as though already dead. Then, without warning, there were others there.
Women, dressed in body hugging suits of spun silver which covered them from neck to waist, leaving their arms and legs bare. On their feet they wore ankle high boots, and on their heads, helmets of polished metal to match the body suits. They were armed with swords and spears and they fell upon the creatures in a frenzied attack. All were fair and had hair of a golden yellow colour. One stabbed her spear into the carapace of the thing that had hold of me. Bright green goop sprayed forth and the creature made a rattling whine and dropped my leg. It jittered around and the woman, having recovered her spear, stabbed it again into the horrid naked head. Bright red blood gushed forth, mingling with the green, and the creature fell on its back, arms and legs waggling. Others of the women had attacked the other creatures and soon several of them had joined my tormenter dying feebly on the rocky floor of the cavern. The woman who had saved me rushed with one of her companions at the ghastly spider and they both stabbed their spears into its black, shiny, hairy body. White sticky gloop geysered forth and it made the most horrendous screech and then one of the women drew her sword and decapitated it.
The women gathered around me and I looked up at them and realised that the shortest of them was easily a half metre taller than me. Caught by movement I looked up to see a black robed figure poling a shallow boat across the river's surface, the prow of the boat rippling the otherwise glassy black water. As I watched the person looked toward me and the cowl of the robe fell away and I looked into the hollow sockets of a death's head.
Gracefully I fell backward in a completely weak, but very welcome, female faint.
I came to my senses lying on a surface softer than any I had known in the past half year. I knew that I was naked and I felt that I was clean and my nude body had been perfumed. Around me were gathered two or three of the golden women, now dressed in soft, transparent, diaphonous shifts. With them was an old men with a grey beard and the most kindly eyes I had known since I last saw my mother. His mouth smiled and his long fingers caressed my broken forearm. I tried to smile back. Then while two of the women held my arms he took my red and swollen wrist and pulled it apart quick and hard.
This time it was truly curtains for me and as he pulled and my arm became all pain I passed out, naked and ice cold.
I must have been out for a very long time.
When I finally came round my wrist was heavily bandaged, back to normal size and barely throbbing. I lay on soft sheets and, although I was still utterly nude, I was warm and comfortable. I sat up and looked around. I was in a chamber of such sumptuousness that even the greatest kings or emperors would not have had such luxury. The walls were lined with silken cloth and the floor was covered in some soft warm material that felt like it did when I would use our sheep as foot warmers on cold nights. The bed on which I sat was soft and felt as though it were filled with the feathers of all the birds in the forest. The sheets were satin and coloured the palest pink one could imagine. I was quite naked but my body smelt of the most subtle perfumes and my hair was clean and shiny and soft. My cuts and bruises were fading and my wrist was wrapped in thick white bandages. Someone must have been watching because no sooner had I sat up than the old man whom I had seen before, came into the room followed by two of the women dressed in their diaphonous shifts.
"You are awake finally," he said. His tongue was strange but I understood every word.
"Where am I?"
"Soon, my dear. Let me first look to your arm." He sat beside me on the bed. Despite my nudity I felt no sense of discomfort with either him or the two women. He unwrapped the bandage and flexed my wrist. It hurt but not unbearably. More a dull deep-seated ache. He restrapped my arm. Turning to the women he said, "I think my young patient would benefit from therapeutic body touching." Both women nodded and came nearer, standing over me looking down. Once more I was amazed at how tall these women were. Tall and slender like the trees of the open forests of this northland or at least, I thought, the north lands above, from which I had descended into this cavernous place.
Both women sat on the bed, one either side. One, the older possibly although it was hard to see age difference in these women, turned to the man and said, "It shall be done Polodia."
He inclined his head and left the room.
The woman said to me, "I am Scythia, and this is Charibdis." She smiled and putting her hand firmly on my shoulder pushed me backward until I lay on the bed.
"And your name, my dear?"
"I am known as Barbara, daughter of Benjamin and Carolynne, sister of Trevor."
"You are not from the lands hereabout?"
"My home is many days march to the south and I would dearly love to return."
"In time." She placed her hand on my bare breast, her fingers spreading to cover it.
"You are so tiny, Barbara, and, I think, very young."
"I'm not that young," I grimaced, "and I think it is you and Charibdis and the others I saw who are very tall, not me who is so small."
She laughed and Charibdis laughed. A beautiful, musical, and very, very, feminine sound. I couldn't help myself and smiled broadly.
Scythia leant forward and I felt her moist, warm palm on my nipple and it struggled to become erect. Nothing in Scythia's movements was overtly sexual, but her touch awakened feelings in my breasts and groin which I had thought dead after my treatment as a whore with the northland raiders. I realised I was becoming aroused.
"This is the home of the Subterras'," said Scythia, moulding my breast with her hand. "We are Subterras', Charibdis and I and our sisters. We live here in Subterranea where we are what you would call the Amazons of Netherworld."
"Netherworld?" I asked. I was almost panting, so much was I becoming excited by this woman who was enormously sexual, but, I think, quite unaware of her effect on others, well, on me anyway.
"Yes, Barbara. Netherworld. The world beneath the world on which you were born and the original home of all womankind."
"What do you mean, the original home of all womankind?"
"Not now, little one. Now you are to have the body touching as Polodia has ordered."
"Mmmnnnn. Come, Charibdis," she smiled down at me from a great height. "We will send Jamie to you Barbara. He is a slave, but he is a good body toucher."
They glided out of the room. I lay gazing at the ceiling. What now?
I must have slipped into a doze.
I felt a hand shaking my shoulder gently but firmly. I looked up and there looking down at me was a young man of about nineteen years with long curly red hair and a short beard of equal redness. He would have been say fifteen centimetres taller than me had I stood alongside him and he was very handsome. He wore only a loincloth that reached to just above his knees and his exposed body was strong and muscular. I was suddenly and painfully aware of my own nakedness and what I must look like lying here, my own frizzily curled hair cascading across the sheets. I tried to cover my breasts and my vee at the same time, my hands gliding up and down, side to side.
He laughed, displaying beautiful white teeth.
"Dinna fash yourself lassie," he said, "I'm nowt but a slave."
I was tongue tied, blushed crimson to the tips of my nipples, and lowered my eyes.
"Tis the body touching yer to have," he said and he whacked my bare bottom with a resounding slap of the flat of his hand. "Roll over then."
My blushes reached my toes and fingers as, while he readied a jar of oil, I rolled onto my tummy.
His strong hands, dipped into the oil, began to knead my back and shoulders and within moments the tension left my muscles and I was lying like a limp dish rag on the bed and purring like a kitten, or so my faint moaning sounded to me. His hands caressed my back and ran down my spine and kneaded my buttocks and dug into the backs of my legs before reaching my feet where he massaged the soles of my feet while I moaned much more loudly and squirmed on the bed.
"D'ye like that, lassie?" he enquired as he rolled me onto my back.
Now he massaged the front of me.
As his hands rolled the flesh of my breasts, my tummy and my groin in ever increasing circles of delight I gave up being worried about any proprieties and squirmed and moaned and groaned and my breasts, nipples, pussy and toes lit up with a bonfire of desire.
My tongue was hanging out and I was drooling. My eyes were rolling backward in their sockets.
"Give me love man, for all the gods' sakes. Put yourself in me, man. Take me, use me.................."
"Sorree Miss. I just do the massage."
"Like hell you do. Fuck me! Now!"
He slapped my rump and wiping his hands on a towel prepared to leave.
"Slave, don't you dare leave." I shouted.
"I'll have the Subterras' boil you in oil."
He threw me a kiss from the doorway.
I groaned and lay there. Damn it! Furious, I finished the job myself and lay panting and fuming.
Damn that Jamie. Gods, he was cute.
After a time, when my raging hormones had regained their equilibrium, I lay wondering how, when I had lain here senseless and entranced, had I eaten? I certainly had neither hunger nor thirst. (If one disregarded the powerful hunger I had just felt for Jamie's body) Obviously my battered body had been ministered to, and my broken wrist had been skilfully reset. Where was I? Who were these Subterras' and where was Netherworld? Where, for that matter, if I was far underground, did the heat and light come from?
On a pedantic note, could I have some clothes? I mean I didn't really mind lying nude all day with the slave Jamie giving me more "body touching" especially if we could go to level two. I had noticed, mostly because I was staring brazenly, that his loincloth confined a substantial bulge at the loin which I felt sure I could find a use and a place for.
My questions were answered when Scythia entered the room, silently as she always did, with Jamie in tow. He carried with him a gown of that light, transparent, diaphonous material which they all wore. All the Subterras', that was. I checked out Jamie's bulge through half-lidded eyes and it was, if anything, even better and bigger than I recalled. I would have to have that before too much longer.
"Barbara," said Scythia, "we have shortened one of our gowns to fit you and the slave will dress you."
"If you dinna mind, lassie?" Jamie growled.
I stood and Jamie flicked out the gown and lowered it over my head letting it settle and drape on my body.
"Dress all the girls, do you?" I smirked.
He just growled and ran his hand down my front, smoothing the material and stroking my breast. An electric frisson crackled around my nipples.
"Ooooooh," I moaned, "oops," I said.
Scythia motioned me to follow and we left, leaving Jamie behind to attend to the rumpled bed. The thought of him touching where I had lain and smelling the smells my body had left behind brought me to mild arousal and I berated myself for my one track mind.
Scythia led me through long wide corridors to a room where a number of divans lay around an open garden with beautiful flowering plants. What a riot of greenery and colour. She showed me to a seat on one divan and stretched herself out on another. Three other Subterras'glided in and assumed languid poses on the divans. I sat forward on mine, feeling like a dwarf. Polodia came in and sat down. Another young man, not Jamie I was disappointed to note, entered with a tray from which he served small sweetmeats and ambrosian liquor.
I sipped and nibbled. "This is wonderful," I said, "but why was I not hungry when I awoke? Gods know how long I lay asleep."
Scythia smiled, "Eight of your days Barbara. Polodia kept you out with drafts while your body healed. You were in a poor way when we found you. As for eating, Polodia and I ministered infusions of certain plants to you even though you yourself were unconscious. These infusions contained everything your body needed."
She indicated the other ladies.
"Meet Selena, Solahr, and Katterinne."
I smiled and nodded greeting. The ladies inclined their gorgeously coiffed heads.
"You wonder where you are?"
"You are far under the surface of your earth. This land is called Netherworld and Subterranea is but a small, what you would call, country. All of life started here many many thousands of earth years ago. We Subterras' are the direct descendents of the first women to evolve. We self-generate so we have no need of what you call men. Long ago some of us went to the surface and emerged outside. Those women lost the ability to self-generate and became reliant on impregnation by men. They also lost their stature and became shorter as years went by. We also have lost some of our virility over the aeons. That is why we bring young men like the slaves you have seen here and we have them serve us and breed with some of us to keep the bloodlines strong. Their girl children, all of our children are girls, are stronger and fitter than the generation before them. So we survive and go on existing. There are other countries in Netherworld, some are peopled by the beast folk, you encountered them I believe, and some are peopled by dark skinned warriors, white skinned traders, self sex races, heterosexual races. Too many to fully enumerate."
"And the light, the warmth?"
"The fires at the centre of the globe were channelled by the old folk to bring light and heat into our worlds. The fires are endless and so we have light and heat to spare. It is aways light here and never cold."
"Water we draw from the great trapped lakes. Enough to last a million lifetimes."
"When I was coming here, I saw a river and on it a boatman."
They all laughed. The one called Solahr said, "Ah, Charon. The boatman of the Styx. A myth we play up to which keeps outworlders away." Then she looked coyly at the others. "Although one, a man called Hercules breeched our defences years ago. Gods but he was one hell of a man."
"And Polodia," I said, "is he not a man?"
"One of our oldest and dearest slaves. He has become an incredible healer and we have granted him near eternal life."
Polodia smiled at me with his eyes full of compassion.
"What of me then?"
"You are a woman. You were in danger. We must save our own kind even those who are outlanders."
"I hate to mention this ladies, but I don't self generate and have certain needs."
They all laughed merrily.
"Is not Jamie the slave pleasing to you?"
"Then to satisfy those needs of yours is up to you, Barbara."
Back in the bedroom which it seemed was to be mine, I waited, my whole body alive with a frisson of excitement. It was meal time and I hoped that the server would be Jamie.
"Enter." Such a lady was I.
Jamie looked in.
"You've bought my dinner?"
"Not tonight. The ladies have asked that you join them."
Damn. "But I am still unwell and should remain here." Even I could hear the whining wheedling tone of my voice.
"I am to take you. Polodia says you are quite well enough."
I flounced out of the room, right royally pissed off. As I passed him, Jamie smacked my bum lightly and said, "Perhaps you'd like me to attend for more body touching. When your meal is well over."
I skipped and grinned broadly. "Yes. Please do that."
I followed him to yet another room which looked like a dining hall but quite unworldly such was the smooth lavishness of both furnishings and furniture. The room was filled with Subterras' women and Scythia called me to join her.
What followed was a sumptuous banquet. I was guest of honour that was for sure and I had to answer many questions about my home and my life outside their world. Thinking of home made me sad and I struggled to keep that sadness from my face.
At last the meal ended. I had been unable to eat but a portion of what was set before me, but I noticed my dining companions ate heartily and fully. They also indulged liberally in the ambrosian liquor and it must have been like Daddy's mead for everything became jollier the longer we went. By meal's end my most banal remarks were being greeted with great hilarity and I opined that the good ladies of Subterranea were well and truly pissed.
Somewhat wearily I made my way back to my room and collapsed on the bed.
A hand touched my foot and that growly voice said, "Too tired are we, lass?"
"No way," I answered.
I squirmed around watching as he prepared the oils and unctions and then he helped me to stand and lifted my gown and it was gone. I kicked off the sandals I had been given and as I wore no underthings I was bare naked and lay down again on my back. I watched as he stood by the brazier heating the oils.
"Jamie. May I call you Jamie?"
"You're the boss."
"Don't be like that. Who do you think I am?"
"M'Lady, and I am just a menial."
"Hah! OK then, if that's the way you want it. Jamie, come here."
He came wiping his hands on a towel and wearing that brief loincloth. I sat up and, leaning forward, unclasped his garment and whipped it away.
"I'm the boss, you said it, and I insist that if I am to be naked so are you."
He sighed and returned to his oils. What an ass! Gods I am no lady that's for sure.
He came back and when he asked me to turn on my tummy I shook my head no no and presented my breasts for oiling and body touching. I smirked when I saw that his "thing" was thinking for itself. And it gave me the tick of approval.
His lovely strong hands caressed my breasts and my tummy and my thighs and my nipples got hard and prominent and the fire spread in my loins. As he bent to touch my shoulder I grabbed him, caught him off balance and pulled him on top of me.
His voice trailed off as I covered his mouth with mine and my tongue searched across his teeth. He relaxed and kissed me back and our mouths opened to each other. My hand covered his and I guided it between my legs. I took his index finger and showed it the way. It found my pussy swollen, tight, slick with my emissions and waiting. He found my clit nubby and ready and stroked me as I moaned and wriggled. My fingers found his manhood, stiff and erect and leaking somewhat. I whispered in his ear, "Enough foreplay, don't you think?"
He growled in that soft lovely burr and I guided that pillar of marble flesh to the entrance to my inner place of delights and spreading my hips said, "Now."
He slipped it in as if it was tailor made to suit my pussy.
He groaned and started to pump and my hips pumped in unison. We rode together like two savage horsemen or rather like a savage horseman and his very willing steed. I had never orgasmed before and when it came with volcanic intensity, I fear I embarrassed him with my shouts, my moans and then my whimpering.
I wanted him again straight away. This time it was slower and better if that was possible. He rose to go.
"Where do you think your going?"
"My Lady must rest."
I pulled him onto the bed with me after dousing the lamps and covered our sweaty bodies with a single satin sheet.
Eventually I wrapped myself around him like a limpet and snored off.
I awoke before dawn, or whatever one calls the rising light in Subterranea, feeling the best I had felt since I was captured by the raiders all those months before. My lovely slave was lying with his back to me and, after squeezing his butt, I reached around and found his friend still sleepy from the night before. I coaxed him with my fingers and he rose to the challenge.
"Gods lassie, d'ye never let a man rest?"
"Well I'm na ready for ye."
"I'll report you to Scythia. Being insubordinate, I'll tell her. Needs whipping, I'll say. By me I'll tell her. With a satin ribbon."
"Ye're a hard woman."
"Oh, I thought I was sort of soft." I guided his hand to my breast.
His manhoodly friend showed it was fully awake by coming to attention.
We cuddled and kissed and I licked him and nipped at him and by the time the light was full we were going at it like a couple of beavers.
Later I dressed and Jamie left me to go back to being a slave but not until I had hugged and kissed him and told him he was to return to me very soon. The man was gorgeously cute and I realised that apart from wanting him like a randy rat, I was falling very much in love.
I joined Scythia and Charibdis and after a light breakfast they asked me to come with them to watching warrior training. We went to the far end of the building where a huge roofed space contained a sand covered arena and tiered terraces. We sat on the terraces and watched as a succession of Subterras' women came and went, practising their warlike skills. Nearly all of them were nude and those that wore anything wore only a loose cloth around their hips. They were armed with swords and nets such as the old Romans had used when they occupied my country many decades before I was born. Being tall and slender but wide hipped and full breasted, these female warriors were a magnificent sight to behold. All were fair haired and their long golden tresses tumbled over their magnificent sholders and flicked and whirled as they moved. Within moments of engaging each other they would glisten with a sheen of sweat and in the pale light of the arena they looked amazingly sexy. They went at each other with great fury and the clang of their clashing swords filled the air of the arena. When one bested another she would not use the sword blade to inflict wounds but turning it cleverly would bring the flat of the blade into use as a clubbing weapon and whack her opponent senseless. When this happened and one of these gorgeous warrior women was laid low, slaves (I saw Jamie amongst them) would run in and, grasping the unconscious woman's legs and wrists, quickly carried her off to one side where Polodia and others tended them. The sight of these lithe bodies, limp and helpless, being carried out hair trailing and ass dragging was extremely arousing and I felt a strange urge to join them.
So when Scythia asked me would I like to try my skill, I readily acceded. She cast off her gown and took up a sword. I guessed when in Subterranea do as the Subterras' do and stripped nude and took a sword also.
We entered the arena and I had hardly time to get set when she called, "Ready? Set to, then," and came at me. I found that my height difference was something of an advantage in that I was slipperier and more quickly mobile than Scythia, but even so our bout lasted less than a minute before she breeched my defence and clobbered me with the flat of her blade.
I went flat out on my back, bells ringing and stars carooming, and fairly much out of it. Scythia didn't wait for the slaves, but lifting me like a babe, she carried me to Polodia who passed a pungently filled vessel beneath my nose and I spluttered back to full awareness.
"Scythia, poor Barbara has already been bashed enough, don't you think?" chided Polodia.
She laughed and thumped my shoulder and said, "Well done, little one."
I don't think sympathy rated highly with these girls.
I stayed in the city, or whatever this underground place was, for the time being. I had asked Scythia when I might return to the surface and make my way home to my family, but she only said, "One day soon."
Jamie was my personal slave it seemed, although I had come to think of him as a companion and my fondness for him had grown to full-blown love. He spent most all of every day with me, caring for me and supervising my recuperation. I didn't let the girls get the slightest hint of it, but many times when we were together it was me waited on him, preparing our meals, washing and caring for his clothes and oh! how horrified would Scythia, Charibdis and their sisters be to have caught me in the act of "body touching" my slave. But many is the time if they had come upon us unawares when they would have found it was he that was lying upon the bed and my hands that were caressing his beautiful body. Such sessions would usually culminate in me crawling across the bed on all fours, hands clawed, tits dangling and swinging, and purring like a pussy cat until I caught him and then his soft growls mingled with my purring and then his body mingled with mine and his seed filled my eagerly waiting pussy.
I was in love.
We would lie together while he told me of his home above in the wild mountains of the north and I told him of my home and family and together we talked of the home we would make for each other when we got free of Subterranea.
Time passed by.
Then one day things exploded in this comfortable world and our chance to escape came.
I had just risen and was swanning around in my filmy gear, nothing underneath and waiting for Jamie to show up as I had woken with powerful urges and he was the man to quench them. Usually the corridors of Subterranea were quiet and peaceful, but this morning I noticed the sounds of movement, distant commands and a general air of bustle and busyness.
I opened the door and stuck my head out.
Subterras' were running through the corridors. All were clad once more in the silver armour they had been wearing when I had first encountered them. One very lovely girl stood guard outside my door.
"What's happening?" I asked.
"We are being attacked. You are to stay in your room. Scythia's orders. I will protect you."
I went back inside to contemplate this.
A knock on my door and the guard girl opened it and let Jamie in. He was dressed in rough clothes most unlike the loin cloth he normally wore. My hopes of a good shagging nosedived. He threw a bundle of clothes at me.
"Put these on. That sexy little number you're wearing now won't get you far today."
"What's happening Jamie? What's going on?"
"Subterranea is under attack by the Azz Banditti, a world of men who leave nearby here in Netherworld. The Azz Banditti are all men. Normally they live peacefully, satisfying all of their needs themselves, but for a long time, a very long time, they have desired union with the Subterras', with a view to their survival. If they can conquer these girl warriors they will breed with them and ensure their own long term future."
"But the Subterras' are self-generating."
"True, but they can perform like any other woman if needed. Like you my beloved."
Beloved! My heart pitty patty-ed as I realised that was the first time he had called me that!
"Then..........they desire a sort of sexual takeover."
"You could call it that. But hurry, put those clothes on."
I stripped my robe and pranced around a bit for my "beloved" to watch and enjoy.
Undies. I put on undies for the first time in a long time. Long, warm, sensible undies. Yuk. He had bought a pair of leather leggings and a short leather skirt that went over them and concealed what they revealed. A sleeveless leather jerkin that left my belly button exposed and a furry, wool like coat. I held up the coat. "Do I have to put this on? It's so damned hot."
"Carry it then. Come." He grabbed my arm and crossed to the door. Knocked on it quietly and whispered "It's us. Coming out." Jamie pushed the door open and we slipped out.
The guard was lying on her back. Her long bare legs were buckled under her and looking down her seemingly endless thighs I saw a glimpse of panty peeping from between where they met. Her arms were outflung and her head was bent back, sightless eyes gazing upwards. Her graceful throat had been cut and blood pooled under her golden hair tinging it scarlet.
Other bodies littered the corridor.
We ran toward the arena stepping over the corpses. The Subterras' girls had died defending their home, and several of them were scattered in the graceless poses of the dead. Arms stretched out legs bent, buckled and twisted. Horrible wounds marked their bodies and blood ran freely across the floor coverings. Staring eyes and gaping mouths filled with blood were everywhere. The Azz Banditti had paid a terrible price for their attack and the bodies of these men all uniformly tall and tawny headed, some bearded, some clean shaven, lay amongst the girls they had slain and been slain by. All of them were naked and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of deja vu when I saw these athletic bodies struck down and lying where they fell, arms and legs sprawled and flat lean tummies stretched taut and their glorious tossles lay inert across their muscular thighs. One or two stood out, stiffened by desire and death, and I regretted that I had no time to investigate further.
We reached the arena.
A great battle was under way.
Gorgeous naked men armed with long wicked looking knives and the fantastically beautiful, sword wielding Subterras' were engaged in fierce individual contests from which one or other would never emerge alive.
"Should we help?" I asked Jamie.
"Who?" he said sardonically.
My question was answered by a blood streaked Scythia standing over the bodies of four dead Azz Banditti heaped at her feet.
"Save yourself, child."
"But....................." I cried, tears springing to my eyes.
She slashed at another gloriously male Azz Banditti.
"It is indeed a fierce mating ritual we enjoy, Barbara. Now go, child."
Jamie and I ran.
When we emerged into the dark caverns outside I was greatful for the coat he had supplied and readily put it on. We ran through dark, wet corridors of rock.
"Do you know where we are going?"
"When I was bought here I marked the way."
"Good. When I was bought here I was out cold and saw nothing."
After what seemed a long time but was probably little more than an hour we reached the river. I saw the punt and the ghastly figure and realised it was but an artful mechanical device.
"We're going to have to swim."
"I can't swim."
"Better learn fast."
I removed my coat and my vest and he stripped to breeks. We bundled our clothes and waded into the river. It was freezing. With Jamie supporting me I splishy splashed like a dog and made painful progress.
As we scrambled from the shallows on the other side I heard a familiar clicking and saw the creature men scrabbling towards us. I screamed and fought off a faint. Standing dripping and naked from the waist up, our other clothes in a sodden bundle held by Jamie, we looked around as seemingly mutitudes of the beetle like ghastly things moved in. I shrieked and panicked and ran for the tunnel opening in the rock. Three of the things bore down on me and kicking and struggling I went to the floor of the cavern. The pincer like mandibles of one hideous creature stabbed downward and passed right through the soft flesh of my tummy and blood spurted and pain lanced through me and I saw Jamie fall on them like a fury and then I passed out.
I came around again to find myself lying on my back while Jamie bandaged my wound. The pain was awful and some evil poison the creature had injected was spreading throughout my body. I gripped Jamie's hand.
"I'm dying. Leave me."
"Save yourself, I'm finished."
I did shut up because I passed out again from a combination of pain and being poisoned.
What followed was what has made the stuff of legends.
Jamie carried, dragged, and pulled my senseless body through the endless corridors of the underworld caverns. The few times I was conscious I was delerious and fevered. When he rested, he warmed my sick and suffering body with his own. For gods knows how long he carted my useless carcass through that nightmarish hell of underground tunnels, finally emerging into a bleak and wintry landscape. I was in and out of consciousness, out for probably nine tenths of the time, so I gave him no help whatsoever. Whenever I did come briefly to my senses I implored him to leave me, to jettison my useless body and go on alone. I was convinced it was only a matter of time before I would die and I loved him far too much to have him risk his safety because of me.
When he did finally carry me, half raving, out into the cold light of the day, I again pleaded with him to just put me down and go on home to his own. For once he lost his usual cool equanimity and turned on me.
"If you don't stop your whingeing, woman," he said, shaking his fist in my face, "I'll use this to bash ye senseless and carry ye anyway."
I shut up but my despair stayed with me.
Somehow he kept me and himself alive that first bitter night and the next day he found a cottage where some crofters took us in without question. The lady of the house fed me hot broth, I could keep little else down, and wrapped me up warm and I made a remarkable improvement. I was still very ill. The poison from the creature was inside me and was robbing me of my strength, but at last I was now able to remain conscious and my will to live had returned.
We stayed two days and then Jamie rigged a sled and we set out for his highland home. I walked when I could and rode at other times and he pulled me willingly and cheerfully. My love for him consumed my body as fully as did my fever.
At night he fed me and nursed me, cuddling me to him and gently kissing me and he told me tales all about how it was in his home town. I lay there too weak to do much else, but looked at him fiercely, never once taking my eyes from his face.
And then we were there.
His Ma and Da welcomed him as the prodigal. He had an older brother and three sisters, two older than him and one younger but a year older then me. All of them, together with their families, came to his father's farm and a great to do was made of the sickly wreck he had dragged home.
They fed me and talked to me and walked me, but I remained very poorly.
My great stroke of luck came when his Da bought home one evening a healer from far Sind who happened to be in this area as luck would have it.
This dark skinned bejewelled fellow studied me and then spoke with the others and water was heated and I was placed before the great fireplace to be kept warm and my garments were removed and then with Jamie's sisters and Ma helping him, he administered a draught which instantly knocked me out as flat as would have a blow between the eyes from the backside of a battle axe. Then he cut open my red and swollen tummy and cleansed the poison and repaired the damage my wound had caused.
When next I joined the world of the living all I had to do was lie abed being fed by the family and taking regular dosages of a purgative that was meant to cleanse my blood.
I started becoming well and frisky immediately. Jamie's family wanted to reward the healer but he just smiled and said seeing me alive again was reward enough. He left to join ship a week later. I was pretty much an invalid for four more weeks but every day I got better and better until at last I was myself once again.
When I was up and about again, Jamie and I were married. The whole family came as well as half the town. My three new sisters attended me and my gown was simple but lovingly made by Jamie's Ma. I had always been a dud seamstress and, if left to me, would have been wed in whatever I could turn up on the day. Feeling things I had never felt before, I had had a secret. and on my part tearful, discussion with Jamie's sisters and as a result they proudly announced to their young brother that he was not only about to become an old married man but that he could soon expect to become a daddy as well. The festivities went on all day and well into the night but for us newly weds the real fireworks came when the rest went home.
I decided now I was with child I would have to temper my enthusiasm for my lovely husband's body somewhat.
Who was I kidding?
A year later, with my absolutely gorgeous little daughter in my arms, I travelled with Jamie back to my parents. When their long dead, or so they thought, daughter arrived with their granddaughter in her arms, their joy was unbounded.
We stayed a long time and Jamie, Trevor, Mummy and Daddy and I spent many hours together and I knew happiness I had not thought possible.
Eventually with promises of visits in the near future Jamie and I and Carolynne (I had named my little treasure after my own mother) returned to our bleak but lovely highland home to live and farm and hopefully breed some more. (With a lot of trial runs whenever a moment was spare.)
I occasionally wonder about Netherworld and Subterranea and Scythia and Charibdis and their fierce and murderous suitors, the Azz Banditti.
But wonder is all I ever do now.